2021 Environmental Action Sneak Peek

Hands holding earth

Happy New Year! With a new year comes hope for positive change. The last Take Action Burlington blog post of 2020 presented a Year in Review. This blog post will present some of the upcoming programs, initiatives and reports related to the environment planned so far for 2021.

Climate Change

Adapting to a Changing Climate

  • City staff will provide a preliminary report to City Council highlighting climate projections for Burlington. A story map showing examples of weather events that have occurred locally, which are projected to become more frequent in the future, will also be presented. Consultation to develop a community climate adaptation plan will begin in 2021.
  • Urban Forest Management Plan
    • Burlington’s Urban Forest Management Plan will be launched in the first quarter of 2021. Trees provide many benefits including but not limited to:
      • habitat for species such as birds and wildlife
      • cleaner air
      • cooler local temperatures reducing the urban heat island effect, where urban centres are hotter due to increased structures and paved surfaces
      • reduced stormwater runoff and erosion control where roots help hold the soil in place
      • improved mental and physical health.

Reducing the carbon footprint

  • Homeowners and stakeholders will be engaged through a survey and interviews to assess opportunities to develop a deep energy retrofit program for existing homes to help reduce carbon emissions.
  • As part of a pilot project, a hybrid air source heat pump will be installed at the City’s downtown transit terminal in January replacing an existing air conditioner unit. This measure will switch heating, on warmer days in the heating season (Oct. to Apr.), from the high efficiency gas furnace to the electric air source heat pump. While this will increase the amount of electricity used, it is expected to save approximately 2.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year which accounts for a 65 percent reduction in the facility.
person cycling in winter in half the scene and in the summer in the other half
  • Integrated Mobility
    • A staff report on the updated Cycling Master Plan will be presented to City Council in the first half of 2021. The new plan is rooted in significant development that has occurred in cycling facility planning and design in Canada. It focuses on how we can get more people to consider cycling for everyday trips, which is achievable by building proper cycling facilities where people live, work and play.
    • Community engagement was an integral component in shaping the future of cycling in the City with feedback helping staff and the consultant team develop and refine the recommended cycling network. The findings and recommendations of the Cycling Plan are considered foundational to Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) and will be incorporated, along with a prioritization and implementation plan, as part of the overall planning direction and multi-modal recommendations of the IMP.

BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association

Image of two people out in nature
Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen.
  • Thanks to funding support from the Burlington Foundation’s Pandemic Response Fund, BurlingtonGreen launched a new and exciting Nature Friendly Burlington initiative that will connect more of the community to local green space, stewardship opportunities and to a multitude of benefits nature experiences provide.
Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen.
  • The annual city-wide Community Clean Up Green Up will return in 2021. BurlingtonGreen will kick off another impactful year of eco-action starting on April 22 (Earth Day).
promotional image for free vegetable seed giveaway
Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen.
  • While BurlingtonGreen’s Grow to Give fresh produce collection sites have finished for the season, the action doesn’t stop here. They are busy curating content and sharing helpful information to get you gardening, reducing food waste and supporting local food security. BurlingtonGreen is also excited to launch their special free vegetable seed giveaway in the new year. Details coming soon.

What green plans do you have for 2021? Share them with us in the comments section.

Take Action Burlington! Let’s make 2021 a more environmentally friendly year. Collectively we can make a difference!

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